Web vs desktop application

FLNDEV used Ask the Experts™
Does https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms973831.aspx from year 2002 still stay valid? For internal employees, does it make sense to build web interface given typically the operations are more complex ? Our company is a pure Microsoft shop.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Looks still valid to me.  If you read the whole article and use their scoring system, you can get an initial idea of what you should do.
Jeff DarlingDeveloper Analyst
It seems like that article is slightly biased towards Web applications.  

One thing that a desktop app can do, is check to see it needs to be updated and then update itself.  

It would be nice if that page were made to be interactive, so that the math for the score would be calculated.  

I'm biased towards Desktop, mainly because I was a Desktop developer a lot longer than I was a web developer and I remember all the disadvantages that I faced when doing Web Development.  Handling for different browser versions for example as browsers get updated, the Web App breaks.  Its great for job security, but a makes the development team look bad.  Although other Microsoft system updates can also break Desktop apps as well.

Thanks for sharing that article.  It will be interested to see what people say about the status of each of the advantages and disadvantages.
Senior Software Engineer
Top Expert 2009
They are valid points in principle, but a bit out dated because our Internet connections are faster and more reliable now than 10 years ago and there are more tools available for developing web and desktop apps.
For small medium sized companies that use the same office network environment and connect by VPN in case of remote workers in the same city/state, a desktop application is good because it provides fast development and good performance. Keep in mind that the desktop app could be UI + business logic or UI only (the app connecting to a server)
If you have thousand of users all around the globe then the web application is the way to go. I agree with Jeff that web is more complex and requires more maintenance (e.g. browser compatibility) but it provides more flexibility in terms of hosting, scalability, access, etc. (There is the fact that there are more jobs in web than desktop apps)

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